25. 04. 2024 – 08. 09 2024

Bílá jídelní souprava se zlatým okrajem

Curators: Jan Mergl, Lenka Merglová Pánková
Exhibition design: Dušan Seidl
Graphic design:  Studio Bušek+Dienstbier

Although Bohemian porcelain started its journey at a time when the leading porcelain works in Europe had already passed the crowning moments of Rococo and Classical craftsmanship, that does not make it any less intriguing or impactful.

In its initial stages at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, Bohemian porcelain drew on popular foreign forms, from Thuringia and later Vienna but it quickly found its direction and character. As early as 1820, the superb artisan quality of the wares gave convincing proof that it was on par with the best of what European porcelain could offer – and this was further confirmed by its distinctive take on Biedermeier and the Rococo Revival in the following years.

Confined to a relatively small area around Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary), the industry expanded into diverse forms within a matter of decades and succeeded in covering the luxury goods market as well as satisfying more modest consumers’ needs for affordable household items. Porcelain was a major component in the export policy of the fledgling Czechoslovak Republic, and it earned recognition in later years as well, as attested to by international award-winning collections from the 1920s as well as the late 1950s.

This exhibition endeavours to show the three centuries of Bohemian and Czechoslovak porcelain through the prism of its artistic evolution and its typical forms in various eras. It follows the transformations of shape and pattern on both dinnerware and decorative porcelain, as well as the reflections of ever-changing stylistic fashions, highlighting the individual porcelain factories’ ability to respond flexibly to contemporary impulses and demands and the desire to find new, original designs and solutions. It remarks on the importance of formally trained in-house or external designers even in the context of modern-day developments in mass production, and it emphasises the apparent essentiality of close relationships between designers and forward-looking producers, or at least the constant, earnest effort to achieve them.

The exhibition thus offers a concise summary of Bohemian porcelain’s journey from its beginning to the present day. It intends to show the skill of the modelllers and the talent of painters of the past and to explore the links that connect design work with contemporary factory processes and outputs.

The Museum of Decorative Arts – main building

17. listopadu 2
110 00 Prague 1

Opening Hours
Tuesday 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Wednesday – Sunday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Monday closed

full CZK 150 | concession CZK 80